Residents to get tested for HIV and hepatitis

Pic: johnnyalive

Get tested for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C Hackney residents are being urged.

Over 1,300 people in Hackney are estimated to be HIV positive and a similar number have been found to suffer from hepatitis B and C.

To help prevent the spreading of the diseases, the NHS North East London and City have re-launched a hepatitis-testing programme, originally founded in 2009, to now include HIV testing.

Rod Watson, from NHS North East London and the City said: “People who have ever injected drugs, those from high prevalence countries and men who have sex with men are considered to be at increased risk of exposure to hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.

“An alarming statistic is that half of all injecting drug users are estimated to have hepatitis B, and 1 in 100 HIV; early diagnosis saves lives.

“The test is free, quick and painless. People can find out about treatment options if they return a positive result, or if they test negative they can find out how they can prevent themselves from getting these conditions in the future.”

If untreated, hepatitis can cause long term liver damage and liver cancer, while HIV progressively damages the immune system.

An estimated 100,000 people are HIV positive in the UK, around 250,000 – 466,000 are infected with hepatitis C, while an estimated 320,000 people, most of whom are undiagnosed, are living with hepatitis B.

Residents can get tested for free starting from November 1 in pharmacies across the borough.

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